MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP
St Margarets 157-6 lost to Haverhill 159-5 by five wickets
Some tight bowling by an experienced attack and a solid showing from the batsmen ensured Haverhill continued their good recent form.
With the wicket looking very green, skipper Greg Street was delighted to win the toss and elected to have a bowl.
Haverhill soon made inroads into the opposition batting order with Richie Partridge picking up two early wickets, the second of which was a stunning catch by wicketkeeper Archer that showcased his goalkeeping skills magnificently.
At the other end Josh Ruthven (6-1-17-0) also bowled a tidy opening spell and was unlucky not to take a couple of wickets with a couple of difficult chances going to ground.
After 20 overs the opposition were on 51-2 with St Margaret’s captain Joey Butler looking to steady the ship.
Further bowling spells from Joey Kettle (6-1-24-0) and Russ Davis (5-0-19-0) kept the batsmen on a tight rein but by the time they reached 110 in the 35th over they had recovered well and were set for a final flourish to reach a decent score.
A bowling change brought 17-year-old Will Bailey (7-0-30-2) into the attack and he promptly took the two important wickets of Butler (66) and Carl Fitch (39) and put the pressure back on the home side.
The final eight overs saw Partridge (13-4-25-2) and Martyn Wilkins (8-1-35-1) bowl in tandem and their vast experience saw the home side only score 25 runs in the last seven overs despite having wickets in hand.
Both bowlers could have considered themselves unlucky not to have taken more wickets with the batsmen riding their luck on numerous occasions. St Margaret’s finished the innings on a total of 157-6.
At tea the Haverhill side were confident of chasing down the total but it soon became apparent that things might not be that easy when the loss of two early wickets saw Haverhill reduced to 18-2 at the end of the ninth over. Josh Ruthven (32) and Alex Archer (22) both batted sensibly to get Haverhill back into the game.
Having reached 86-2 in the 25th over Haverhill lost both Archer and Ruthven in quick succession, both getting out trying to up the tempo.
Jamie Boulton (3) followed shortly after edging a quick delivery to slip and St Margaret’s felt they were very much back in the game.
Another wicket at that stage would have made life uncomfortable for Haverhill but Russ Davis (29 no) and Joey Kettle (22 no) both batted intelligently and without any fuss to see Haverhill reach the required total in the 41st over and secure victory for the visitors by five wickets.
Captain Greg Street said: “Having won the toss I was pleased with how the bowlers performed.
“If we had managed to hold onto a couple of difficult chances early on our margin of victory might well of been more convincing.
“As it was they set a reasonable total but our lads batted sensibly on a sporting wicket which offered plenty of encouragement to the bowler.
“It was a good all round team performance with good contributions with both bat & ball. A very satisfying victory.